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Useful Temperate Plants

Cephalotaxus hainanensis

H.L.Li

Taxaceae


The genus Cephalotaxus is a very difficult one taxonomically since most species are very similar and the key differences that distinguish them generally intergrade morphologically. Over 70 names have been published, though modern treatments usually restrict the genus to between 6 - 8 species. It can be difficult to know how to identify individual plants, with differences of opinion coming from decisions of taxonomists in different countries. We are following the treatment in Lang, X.D., Su, J.R., Lu, S.G. & Zhang, Z.J. (2013). A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae). Phytotaxa 84: 1-24.[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Cephalotaxus harringtonia thailandensis Silba

Cephalotaxus mannii thailandensis (Silba) Silba

Cephalotaxus sinensis hainanensis (H.L.Li) Silba

Common Name: Chinese Plum Yew

No Image.

General Information

Cephalotaxus hainanensis is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall. The bole can be 20 - 50cm in diameter[
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of wood. It is harvested on a commercial basis for its stems and bark, which are a source of compounds used in anticancer treatments. The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens.
Past population declines have been due to logging and more recently exploitation of bark and leaves which contain the valuable medicinal extracts, cephalotaxine and harringtonine. The main threat now is habitat destruction due to the expansion of tourist developments (ongoing). As with other members of the genus, the maturation rate of the seed is slow and regeneration is relatively infrequent. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet

Range

E. Asia - southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Habitat

Mixed forests and forested ravines; at elevations around 800 - 1,200 metres[
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Properties

Conservation StatusEndangered
Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Cephalotaxus hainanensis is a plant of moderate elevations in the subtropics and tropics of China and southeast Asia. It can tolerate some frost when dormant, surviving temperatures falling to between -6.6°c and -1.1°c[
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Prefers a moist well-drained sandy soil but succeeds in most soils though it dislikes dry gravelly or chalky soils[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a position in semi-shade but tolerates full shade[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
] and it also succeeds but does not usually thrive in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It grows very well in the mild wet coastal region of W. Scotland where it succeeds even in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Requires a humid sheltered site[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
], strongly disliking very exposed positions[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Closely related to Cephalotaxus harringtonia[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants are dioecious, but female plants sometimes produce fruits and infertile seeds in the absence of any male plants[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. However, at least one male plant for every five females should be grown if you are growing the plants for fruit and seed. Plants have also been known to change sex[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
]. Male cones are produced in the axils of the previous year's leaves, whilst female cones are borne at the base of branchlets[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
]. Fairly large, about 25mm x 17mm[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. No more details, though it is closely related to Cephalotaxus harringtonia, the fruit of which is edible raw if fully ripe[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The fruit does not always ripen in Britain, before full ripeness it has a disgusting resinous flavour that coats the mouth and refuses to go away for hours[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

It is quite likely that the seed of this species is also edible. More research is required[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The obovoid-ellipsoid or obovoid seed is 22 - 28mm long[
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Medicinal

Extracts from the plant have shown anticancer activity[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. The branches, roots, leaves, and seeds are a source of many alkaloids, which are used to treat leukaemia and lymphosarcoma[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Other Uses

The wood has been logged in the past[
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
,
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
We have no more specific information for this species, but the wood of other closely-related species in this genus is insect resistant and of high quality, being used for making furniture, implements etc[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
], it should then germinate in the following spring[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. A hard seedcoat can delay germination, especially in if the seed is not sown as soon as it is ripe[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Stored seed should be cold-stratified and sown in a cold frame in the spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Germination can take 18 months or more. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter under cover. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Greenwood cuttings of terminal shoots, mid summer to early autumn in a humid cold frame[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Difficult[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-09-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Cephalotaxus+hainanensis>

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